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Good News, Publishers! Mobile Ad Blockers Won't Actually Block Much Revenue.

Here's the piece of the mobile ad pie at risk.

Shutterstock / Dayna More

If you spent any time reading the tech press last week, you likely came across a think piece (or ten) about ad blockers, Apple’s approval of them for its default mobile browser Safari, and how they will or will not destroy the advertising industry.

The truth is, we don’t know how big ad blockers will be. Or if we’ll even be talking about them two weeks from now. Marco Arment, creator of the most popular ad blocker app from last week, Peace, said his app was downloaded less than 38,000 times before he removed it from the App Store.

What we do know is that the piece of the mobile advertising pie that ad blockers might impact is relatively small.

That’s because mobile ad blockers only block ads that appear in mobile browsers (like Safari), but not the ads you see inside of apps, where we spend the majority of our time. Those in-app ads make up the majority of mobile advertising.

Ads that appear in mobile browsers account for just over 25 percent of mobile ad spend in the U.S. and roughly 13 percent of digital ad spend overall. That’s just under $8 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Here’s how the mobile ad pie gets sliced up:

Todd Bernard / Re/code

This is going to change, of course, as mobile advertising grows, but the ad industry always moves much more slowly than user behavior. So relax, publishers. Ad blockers won’t destroy you tomorrow. Still, it would be good to have a plan.

This article originally appeared on

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